Monday, October 5, 2015

First Trimester With Baby "Rubiks" Meyer

Well, no joke, I'm a little nervous about posting pregnancy updates. Getting to write up these posts has been something I have been waiting and dreaming of getting to do on this blog for two years now. And I do really want to have a record of how this pregnancy went, with this blog being a logical place to have it. However, I also now understand the pain that can come from seeing others walk through pregnancy while you yourself are struggling to have one of your own. In light of that, I decided to stick with once a month updates once I am done playing catch up (being that I'm already well into the second trimester right now).  This is also in part because I don't know if I will be able to keep up with anything more often! I hope that there will be understanding and a willingness to celebrate with me with each post.

You may also feel free to just skip reading these posts when they show up if you so choose :)

Well here goes the first one!

13 weeks. Most of that is bloat.

:: First Trimester ::

We affectionately have named this little nugget "Rubiks." Yes, like the Rubik's cube. Why? Because it felt like I were constantly guessing how I would be feeling in the next hour. Sick? Exhausted? Starving? Moody? Just fine? It was a never ending puzzle.

(For those of you who are curious, we called Dellie "Sparky" because of how fierce the first trimester sickness was with her. Once we found out she was a girl she was renamed "Sparkle." If only she knew that now.  She would be offended we changed her name after she was born!)

:: Symptoms ::

Disclaimer - there might be some talk about girl body parts and stuff.  I will do my best to be tasteful about it, but if you think you might be uncomfortable by it, skip this part.

My first pregnancy symptom was realizing that I was growing out of my bras. I would not have even taken a pregnancy test if it weren't for how crazy sore and large I was getting. 

Halfway through week five the nausea started kicking in, and it was 24/7 car sick style nausea and headaches for three weeks. The nausea slowed to only (ha!) when I was hungry, really full, ate something I shouldn't have, and smelled or saw any aversions - which there were plenty. Just like last time, the throwing up and gag reflex started up right as the nausea slowed down.  I didn't puke nearly as much as I did with Dellie, but I still had at least one time a week where I lost my lunch (or breakfast).

Other symptoms included crazy exhaustion (like I was done with the day by 10 AM), stuffy nose and sinuses (yep, its a symptom), bloating, a wee bit of swelling around the ankles, poor sleep, crazy dreams, crying over the silliest things, and hormone headaches.

:: Aversions/Cravings ::

I craved salty food (soft pretzels, bagels, tortilla chips, cheese, etc) something fierce for about a week - which was weird because I had zero cravings with Dellie.  But after getting my hands on an everything bagel for dinner one night, I wanted nothing to do with them for the rest of the first trimester. 

Aversions, oh aversions. I had plenty. The strongest was bacon - it was so strong that even just seeing pictures of bacon made my stomach turn.  Another (not food) was bathroom smells, any and all. It got so bad sometimes I would find myself gagging while using the toilet. And changing a poopy diaper? Guaranteed to send me puking.

:: Missing Most ::

Figuring out what to eat without wanting to cry, and getting a good night's sleep.

:: Sleep ::

I woke up during the night to pee most nights, and on top of that became a really light and uncomfortable sleeper. And the dreams got pretty crazy.

:: Gender ::

Don't know, but I started wondering if it's a boy because of some symptoms being different this time around at the very beginning. Also because it seems like every body I know has had an oldest girl and boy for their second :)

:: Hubby ::

You guys?  I have a really good husband.  This man would come home from work and take over home life like a boss. Cooking meals when he could, keeping the house clean, taking kiddo out for a couple hours when I just couldn't imagine staying awake another minute. It wasn't easy for him to do all this, but he handled it without a complaint. He's a keeper.

Dellie wanted her own "belly picture" too. In her favorite swim suit, ready to go to the splash park.

:: Dellie ::

She is old enough that she could understand Mama was sick because there's a baby growing in her belly, but young enough that her processing all this gets a little creative.  Within a couple weeks, she also "had a brother or sister for Minnie" growing in her own belly, and would complain of not feeling very well either - usually in an attempt to get more TV time ;) We took her to the first ultrasound, hoping it would help the whole thing be more real for her, but unfortunately it just confused the heck out her.

:: Best Part ::

My favorite part hands down was getting to see this little nugget in an ultrasound at 9 weeks.  The first ultrasound with Dellie was the anatomy scan at 20 weeks, and I was always a little jealous of the other moms who got to have an early sneak peek while the baby still looked like a wriggling gummy bear.

We also were extremely excited to find a doctor close by who is very pro-VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  It was a huge relief to so quickly find a doctor who's opinion and practice of VBACs was exactly what we had been hoping to find.

In a weird way too, I was really excited when each symptom started showing up, because it meant there was a baby growing in there! By the end I was definitely more than ready to be back to feeling normal, because having our world basically shut down for two months was really, really hard. 

:: Can't Wait For ::

By the end of the first trimester, I was so ready to be feeling better. Being unable to really be a functioning mom and a wife both physically and mentally for two months got to be very frustrating. I also would to have random "good days" where I would think I was finally coming out of the haze, only to get thrown back into feeling like death the next day. While having a day where I didn't feel awful was short relief, it also came with a lot of fears that something was wrong. Getting out of the stage where miscarriage is most common was a huge relief as well.

Also a visible belly that more pregnant instead of just bloated :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Catching Up

Well, hello there.

Long time, no see, little blog of mine.  It's been a nice break, but I'm ready to give a little catch up.  Especially since I have some really wonderful things to tell you about.

These last six months have been pretty good as a whole. I felt like I started embracing the reality of being a mom of one (instead of spending all my energy longing for two). Not that I was the best at it, but the more I released, the freer I felt to just enjoy that I do have a crazy, funny, wide eyed little child who has the whole world in front of her. And it was my job to show it to her.

We spent many a February and March morning walking to the neighborhood orchid tree.  Affectionately named the "purple tree," it became a favorite spot for both kiddo and myself to adventure to.

I also decided it was time to start teaching her the finer things of outdoor life - like blowing dandelion seeds.

The husband has a particular form of nerdism which endears him to board and card games. We felt it was time to start swaying our child's interests in a similar direction, which so far has proven to be successful.

Over spring break, we were invited to visit Josh's parents in Palm Springs and stay the weekend in the beautiful home of some of Josh's extended family.  Kiddo spent most of the weekend like this when she wasn't sniffing every single flower on the premises - of which there were many.

Dellie went on her first hike in May for Josh's birthday.  We took the short trail up "A" mountain by campus with the dogs. Radar was possibly the most excited one out of us all.  

Since said hike, Dellie has also been apt to remind us that we "hiked the mountain one time with the A for Adelle on it."

After school ended in May, my parents were so very, very kind and took us to Disneyland. Dellie fell in love with Minnie Mouse from day one. We may or may not regret letting her choose a Minnie doll of her very own to take home.

As to be expected, the level of crazy has upped in the house as kiddo has gotten older. Her sense of humor has become both a joy and a bit of a trial, but I suppose that is to be expected when one has a three year old.

Over the summer, Dellie caught a cold that turned into a cough that went south - right into her lungs. She was put on antibiotics and a nebulizer for about two weeks, which thankfully healed her right up.

We ended up taking an emergency trip back to Colorado at the end of July when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, the cancer turned out to be not nearly as serious as was originally thought. None of us Phoenicians complained about the chance to get out of the 100+ degree heat either.

And here it we are at the end of September, making short jaunts out to see the flowers again in the early morning hours before it gets too hot. Dellie has started naming the flowers she sees to her liking. These ones, her favorite, she affectionately calls "corn flowers."

Both her and I are beyond happy to seen summer ending, both because it means the heat is going away, and also because I'm finally feeling better enough to do normal life again.  Which brings me to the final bit of news to catch up on:

We are finally expecting baby number two!

It has been a long two years, but God has shown himself faithful and good.  Things have been going very well with this pregnancy, and we are all very excited (and a little terrified) that its really, finally happening!

As for the future, the next sixth months are going to be... interesting, I suppose. Josh is in his last semester of school at ASU.  Can you believe we're actually at this point too? Me neither. We will be walking through college graduation, job hunting, possibly moving out of state (for a job), and having another baby. Whew. It's a lot of huge unknowns for us. We have likened it to feeling like we're staring at a cliff we're supposed to jump off of in just a few short months. And believe that we will land safely somewhere that we can't see from here.


But we have seen God walk us through each crazy unknown we've been through before. We trust that He's built that landing spot we can't see to be a good place for us. So we continue to pray that we would be peaceful and trusting of where God will take our family next, and that we would be ready to jump when the time comes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Third Birthday, Child!

We now house a three year old child in this house.  This next year should be a fun one.

This last year was a year of decisions for our child.

Deciding she likes to play at the parks.

But she doesn't like eating the sand, however.

Deciding she likes exploring and discovering all the time.

Deciding she likes to be imaginative and creative with anything she gets her hands on.

Deciding she likes to accessorize for any and all occasions.

Deciding she likes the color yellow (and maybe a little pink, too).

Deciding she likes to play in pools...

But she doesn't really like the ocean.

Deciding her favorite lunch is drinking smoothies with her Mama.

Deciding her favorite things are giraffes...

Along with school buses.

Happy third birthday, my growing up one!  Daddy and I are so excited to see you blooming into your own little person.  You truly are one of a kind :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Holidays of 2014

Happy New Year!

Today begins life back to normal for most, and the same goes for this little family in most respects.  Josh doesn't start school for another week, but his work does, and so our home routine has begun again as well.

This Christmas we decided to stick around home instead of travelling back to Colorado. Here are the highlights of Christmas and New Years for us!

Kiddo loved decorating for Christmas this year.

In continuing with the Christmas-tree making tradition, we created our tree out of chicken wire and garlands.

The end result was a little Seuss-ian in nature.

A few days after surgery, I thought I was well enough to make the half-mile trek to the park.  Turned out to be too much too soon, but it was worth getting some fresh air for all us humans and dogs.

Some shots from the one Christmas party we made it to. Not shown are everyone else's pictures with a small Dellie head in the corner.

Dellie's two favorite Christmas presents.  She's becoming ridiculously fond of school buses over the last few months, and we've obliged.  What this means for her future, I'm still not sure.

and lastly, we took a much needed day trip to Flagstaff to play in the recently fallen snow on New Year's Day.

Dellie was beyond excited to get to make a snowman "like Daniel Tiger" and slide around snow piles like "Peter from Snow Day."  

Mom and Dad were beyond excited to feel some of the childlike wonder of fresh snow themselves.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and new year as well!  I'm definitely excited to be finished with the last year.  As far as my outlook on this year, I'm not quite sure.  I'm hopeful for the possibilities - getting pregnant, Josh graduating and finding a great job in a great city.  I'm also quite a bit fearful of the possibilities, if none of the above come to pass.  What I do know is that God is asking me to walk in hope this year, trusting in his perfect, good, loving nature.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Post-Surgery Update

Thanks everyone for all the kind words and support over the last few days! The texts, comments and conversations I have gotten to have with each and every one of you has meant the world to me. Seriously.

the obligatory and contraband pre-operation photo.
The surgery went really, really well.  The possibility of finding endometriosis had been tossed around prior to surgery, and I was nervous that the cyst would turn out to be a symptom of that.  But the cyst was simply a dermoid cyst, and there was no sign of endometriosis anywhere!  We are beyond thankful that things, as a whole, are looking good, and I no longer have to share my abdomen with my undeveloped twin.

Recovery so far has been better than I could have imagined. I've already downgraded my pain meds to only at night and can basically function normally - just a lot more slowly and gingerly.

My favorite part has been getting to enjoy breakfast in bed - originally it started because I didn't have the fortitude to get out of bed without the pain meds kicking in first.  Now I just let it happen, because why not?

I'm looking forward, yet completely terrified of the moment the bandages finally come off. The doctor said the scar in my belly button would hardly be noticeable.  I'm beginning to wonder if I even have a belly button any more...

* * * * *
In other news, we're almost done with a "Dudes" Christmas special!  It was about as last-minute as you could possibly have done it, but I'm proud that we squeezed it in.  We will be posting it on Facebook when it is finally live.

A wonderful Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks again for your prayers, well wishes and love!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Long Vacation [Or "Why Kiddo Is Still An Only Child"]

I keep coming back here every so often to see what's going and thinking about writing a post or two about our life.

Turns out, I never write that post, and this little virtual place keeps looking the same.

But I have been feeling more and more like God wants me to jump in again and share a vulnerable area of our life here.

We are struggling through infertility. 

It has been the major reason why I haven't been writing. It's been an emotionally exhausting journey, and until now, I haven't been ready to share it with much of anyone.  I didn't want to admit that it was happening to me, to my family.  But I think I have finally come to a place where in the midst of this trial, I see that God still loves me, my husband, and my child. He cares deeply about what's going on, and he wants to create something beautiful through this pain, if I will let him.

One way that I feel God has been asking me to let him do something beautiful is to be vulnerable with you about this struggle in my life. Because when I see others be vulnerable for the sake of Jesus, I am encouraged and built up.

I will try to do my darnedest to also talk about other things (like catch up on some of the fun we've been having over the last six months!) but along with it will be our journey through infertility and (hopefully soon) another baby.

We have really just started the medical process.  I am going in for surgery later this week to have an ovarian cyst removed, along with a chromoblast to make sure my plumbing is clear.

Please pray for the surgery to go smoothly and that there isn't anything too serious going on with my reproductive organs.  Also that recovery goes smoothly and I can be up and kicking in time for Christmas.

Thanks to you all for your prayers and your love in advance.  It is very, very much appreciated.

-Shelby and the Fam

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cloth Diapers Are...Done (Musings on Potty Training)

[So this post is actually from way back in April, but I came over to check up on things, and turns out I never actually hit the button.  So sorry!  Just imagine yourself three months previous and you should be good to go.  Thanks!]

Hi guys.  Been awhile, I know.  This household has been a busy one - annual National Guard training that left me a single mom for three weeks, potty training, catching up on homework, catching up on parenting, catching up on marriage, catching up on life.

I hope you caught that potty training bit, because it's sort of a big deal.  And by big deal, I mean that we no longer use cloth diapers.  Yeah, that's right, we have a (more or less) potty trained child!

What happened?  Peer pressure.  All she needed was two hours of watching her friends using their potty at their home, and the next day she basically started training herself.  Since that fateful day, we've been working out of diapers into underwear one small step at a time.  She's even gone on a couple tentative grocery trips and walks to the park in underwear.

I learned something important from watching my child develop this skill over the last month -

Kids learn differently. [Uh, yeah, Shelby.  That's, like, child-rearing 101.]  

I've decided that each different method of potty training isn't better than another, but rather, each will be effective if it hits a child's learning style.  I know the 3-day potty party method works, because I personally know kids that it worked for.  Same goes for the bribery method.  Why didn't they work for my kid, though?  Because she likes to do things with her peers. (But not with me, apparently.  I tried the show-and-tell method for months and it did nothing.)  Since this slow realization I've been keeping a more watchful eye on how she relates with her friends, and I have seen that her interest in copying other kids is high, and I mean really high.

On one hand, it's great.  When my child follows a three-year-old buddy around the park, she will push herself to try out new parts of the playground that I can't convince her to go near.  On the other hand, it means that I will have to be extra-sensitive to what sorts of influence her friends will have on her.  But this realization has been good for me.  I see my child a little bit more as a future adult with her own strengths and weaknesses. I can't just teach through the "methods" from books or what's popular in the child-rearing world and expect immediate success. Rather, I have to teach my child in ways that fits how she learns and who she is as a little person.

It's been a bit sobering realizing all this.  One, because I can't slack on my parenting if I really want to follow through on this discovery. I have to stay alert to what she's absorbing in the world and how she's taking it all in, and then work with it to influence her in the direction I want to see her go in life.  Two, its another sign that she's growing up, and growing up quickly. My chance to influence my child is going to be gone sooner than I'd like.  Now is the time for me to set a foundation of showing her healthy peer relationships by guiding her when she is with her friends and setting an example with my own friendships.

But the future also looks pretty bright from here.  This house is going to be stocked with potty rewards [commonly referred to as M&Ms] for a very, very long time. :)

How did the potty training process go for you?  Did you find that certain ways worked a lot better than others?  Did you see your child's style of learning come out in their potty training?